With a new Yeti on the way (and I still have reservations about the changes) Skoda continues its campaign in the SUV segment. With the Skoda Kodiaq Scout, the Czech car manufacturer will present a new model variant at the Geneva International Motor Show from the 7th to 19th March this year.
The Scout is designed to emphasise its off-road capabilities both visually and in terms of technology. The rugged and robust appearance is accentuated by silver-coloured design details including distinctive underbody protection at the front and rear.
The 19” alloy wheels specially created for the Skoda Kodiaq Scout also contribute to its powerful appearance. A choice of two petrol and two diesel engines are available for the new model variant which comes with all-wheel drive in all versions.
The centrepiece of the all-wheel drive is an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch that is located directly in front of the rear differential, i.e. at the end of the drive shaft, for optimal distribution of the load on the axles. The all-wheel-drive system works quickly and intelligently, its control unit constantly calculates the ideal driving torque for the rear axle.
Loss of traction is virtually eliminated due to a control system that is dependent on driving status. In normal driving conditions, especially with a light load and when coasting, the multi-plate clutch transfers the engine power in an efficient way mainly to the front wheels.
The SUV also feels perfectly at home on off-road terrain, say the company. With a ground clearance of 194mm, it can even negotiate larger bumps with ease. For those that like their information in depth, the car has a ramp angle of 19.7 degrees. The approach and departure angles are an impressive 22.0 and 23.1 degrees due to the short overhangs.
In addition, the Rough-Road package, which comes as standard, protects against damage to the underbody, engine, brake and fuel lines as well as cables. When the road ends, the driver can select off-road mode simply by pressing a button. The optional DCC shock absorbers change their mode of operation accordingly; the throttle response is somewhat slower.
The ABS anti-lock braking system permits a certain amount of slip in order to create a wedge effect in front of the wheels. In order to improve traction in off-road mode, ASR allows a greater amount of slip, and electronic differential lock (EDL) reacts more quickly. When required, the Hill-Hold Control and Hill-Descent Control functions are activated – the latter maintains the car’s speed at the level at which the driver enters the slope.
With a length of 4.70m, up to seven seats as well as the largest interior and boot within its class, the Kodiaq Scout has celebrated a debut that has attracted a lot of attention. The design reflects the brand’s intention to clearly underline robustness and strength with its distinct features.
The radiator grille is framed by a silver-coloured trim. The roof rails, housing of the wing mirror, the side window trims as well as the front and rear underbody protection, which is positioned beneath the bumpers and visually split into three parts, are also silver in colour. Characterised by short overhangs, the sloping roofline is visually extended by a line in the D-pillar, and the tapered rear.
The equipment and interior design are also tailored to the robust character. They are based on the SE trim level. The Skoda Kodiaq Scout comes with Off-Road Assist, a Rough-Road package with underbody and engine protection as well as a front and rear Park Assist. The generous array of standard equipment includes Driving Mode Select (Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual, Snow), which can be used to control the engine, automatic transmission, power steering and air conditioning. Snow mode adjusts the ABS, ASR, ACC (where present) systems and the engine management to the specific conditions of the snow-covered or slippery road.
Standard equipment in the interior includes a multifunction steering wheel, LED ambient lighting in ten colours, a Modular Infotainment Matrix with eight speakers, Alcantara-covered seats with the Kodiaq logo. Also included are door trims in the Alcantara design, steel pedals, textile floor mats and the KODIAQ logo in the front door sills.
This new vehicle is equipped with all the modern infotainment systems of the new large SUV. The capacitive touch displays feature a glass design (except for the standard Swing sound system). The top-of-the-range version, the Columbus navigation system, has a 9.2-inch monitor, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an LTE module. The automatic Emergency Call function comes as standard. The mobile online services from ŠKODA Connect are the perfect addition for the state-of-the-art infotainment system.
Driver Assistance Systems
All variants of the Skoda Kodiaq Scout set benchmarks within their segment, according to the company. New functions include Trailer Assist, Blind Spot Detect, which warns of any vehicles in the blind spot, and Rear Traffic Alert, which monitors traffic coming from the sides and behind when manoeuvring etc.
An interesting addition is the Crew Protect Assist function, which closes windows and the sunroof in the event of an impending accident and tensions the seat belts of the front seats, works in conjunction with the improved Front Assist function, which includes the City Emergency Brake and predictive Pedestrian Protection functions.
Park Assist’s functions have been further perfected. The Area-View system is also a first for the brand: the surround-view cameras, which are located in the front and rear sections as well as in the wing mirrors, come with wide-angle lenses and allow views of the area immediately surrounding the vehicle to be displayed on the monitor. These include a virtual top-down view and 180-degree images from the areas to the front and rear. This makes it easier to drive in confusing situations or on rough terrain.
Let’s hope it is as good as it sounds. Geoff Maxted